39 / 2014
Maja Godina Golija

Potica and Its Stories: Slovenes in Serbia and the Symbolic Significance of Food

Food is not only a component of the material world and a means to satisfy basic physiological needs butalso plays an important role in the culture and the social life of the community. Collective preparation and consumption of food connects people, creates new relations, and strengthens the position of individuals within the community. In addition, food is an important means of differentiation that separates people according to their sex, age, and their religious, social, and ethnic affiliations. For members of different ethnic communities living in majority societies, food and food practices also represent a means of establishing and maintaining their ethnic identity. This holds true for Slovenes living in Serbia, who se ethnic affiliation is further consolidated by certain foods and dishes, such as the potica cake. Like some other elements, food shapes and impacts the lives of the members of ethnic communities, and in turnthese members participate significantly in the creation of the meaning of certain dishes, giving themnew form and content.
KEY WORDS: food, migrations, Slovenes, Serbia, potica, identities, heritage